You’ve probably noticed by now that coworking spaces are pretty popular among freelancers, entrepreneurs, remote employees, and other independent professionals. They’re defined as membership-based workspaces where diverse groups of professionals work together in a communal, shared setting.
These places are associated with collaboration and productivity since those who use them as their primary workplace just seem to thrive: they are more inspired, happier, and more engaged in their work.
When did it all start?
Interestingly, while coworking started as a fringe trend several years ago, it isn’t at all a new notion. Back in the 15th century, architects, painters, engineers, sculptors, and scientists worked together in Florence’s Renaissance Bottega. There were workshops being held that brought together different types of talent to improve, learn, collaborate, and even compete, usually under a master teacher. Bottegas made it possible that diverse groups meet and discuss, as well as put their ideas into practice. The result was a higher level of output and innovation.
Fast forward to today, people didn’t really change regarding gaining new ideas, collaborating and interacting. An environment that brings different groups together facilitating and encouraging interaction, spurs growth.
What science says about coworking
The general view that people who use coworking spaces being more productive and collaborative is not just a mere perception. Researchers found that, indeed, professionals coworking thrive higher than those who work in regular offices.
So, with data to back this up, it’s difficult to deny that professionals using coworking spaces can be more productive, have great chances to collaborate and grow their business. Below are some reasons why coworking spaces may be a better alternative than the traditional office setup.
- Learning and getting good advice
Professionals using coworking spaces can learn from others with more experience or with experience in a different field. For example, if a copywriter gets stuck or needs some guidance with uploading an article on a WordPress website, they can ask a technical developer for advice. In turn, the copywriter can help the developer come up with a catchy name for a page they’re building. It’s basically getting and giving advice “next door.”
Professionals from the same field can help you a lot, as well. As you interact, you’ll have several opportunities to learn from each other’s experiences and share your challenges. This can lessen the amount of time you need to reach your goals and minimize your chances of making mistakes.
- Collaborating and innovating
When working in a coworking space, you might find yourself in the same room or next to a software engineer on any given day, an SEO specialist the next day and a social media manager the day after. This diversity provides you with the chance to interact with a diverse group of people and often leads to increased opportunities for collaboration and innovation.
For instance, someone from a completely different field can look at your challenges and ideas from a different perspective, which will help you come up with innovative solutions that wouldn’t have crossed your mind otherwise. Also, you can team up with other experts and create a project that utilizes all your skills.
Another point worth considering is that folks who freelance or work remotely for the same company can move into a coworking space if they live close to each other. This can help them “function” like an in-office team but without high overhead costs.
- Meaningful work
Those who use coworking spaces tend to find meaning in their work. This can be attributed both to the type of work they do and to the way they do it. Many remote or freelance workers work out of coworking spaces and find job opportunities on freelance-based platforms.
Most people who work in this kind of setting choose the projects they care about, are passionate about, and excite them, thus they are more likely to find their work meaningful.
Moreover, there are fewer office policies, gossip, drama and competition in a coworking space, which makes professionals able to bring their real selves to work, instead of creating an office persona in order to fit in. Actually, the culture within a coworking space is fun and relaxed, and members end up being more of friends than workmates. All these factors contribute to people finding more meaning in their work.
- More job control and flexibility
Most coworking spaces are accessible 24/7, thus people can decide whether they want to spend the entire day there when they have a looming deadline to beat or they simply want to show progress; alternatively, they can choose to take a break at noon, go to the gym, unwind and recharge their batteries. Plus, professionals can choose whether they want to work in a collaborative room with shared desks or in a quiet, closed-off space. They can even choose to take a day off or work from home whenever they need to or feel like doing so, without any repercussion.
Coworkers equally value autonomy and the form of structure these spaces add to their professional lives. As both too much autonomy and control can cripple productivity, having a flexible community to work in helps people be disciplined and motivated, yet relaxed.
- A sense of community
With an atmosphere of friendliness and unique culture, each coworking space feels more like a close-knit community than a workplace.
Coworking hubs facilitate introductions and connecting to others. Furthermore, a lot of spaces organize regular events where people can interact and build relationships.
However, it’s important to mention that socializing isn’t by any means forced or compulsory. Even better, members can choose how and when to chat with others. For example, you can always stop by at the café for the purpose of discussing with fellow coworkers. On the other hand, if you want to be left alone, you can simply put your headphones on, or go to one of the quiet spaces in the building.
Settings that convey cheerful energy are one of the essential reasons why coworking is not only here to stay, but growing at a dizzying pace. Coworking spaces facilitate interaction, sparking new ideas and concepts, as well as connecting and working with other experts, which can lead to professional and personal growth.